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《黎明踏浪号》第14章:世界尽头的起点

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Slowly the door opened again and out there came a figure as tall and straight as the girl's but not so slender. It carried no light but light seemed to come from it. As it came nearer, Lucy saw that it was like an old man. His silver beard came down to his bare feet in front and his saver hair hung down to his heels behind and his robe appeared to be made from the fleece of silver sheep. He looked so mild and grave that once more all the travellers rose to their feet and stood in silence.那扇门慢慢又打开了,走出一个人,跟那个姑娘一样又高又挺,不过没那么细长。也没带着灯火,不过仿佛全身都发着光。但等此人走近,露茜才看出像是个老人。他的银须飘垂到身前的光脚上,银发则飘垂到背后的脚跟,一袭银袍看上去像是银羊毛纺制的。他神情非常慈祥庄严,这一行人不由再次默默起立。
But the old man came on without speaking to the travellers and stood on the other side of the table opposite to his daughter. Then both of them held up their arms before them and turned to face the east. In that position the began to sing. I wish I could write down the song, but one who was present could remember it. Lucy said afterwards that it was high, almost shrill, but very beautiful, cold kind of song, an early morning kind of song. And they sang, the grey clouds lifted from the eastern sky a the white patches 'grew bigger and bigger till it was white, and the sea began to shine like silver. And long afterwards (but those two sang all the time) the east began to turn red and at last, unclouded, the sun came up out the sea and its long level ray shot down the length of the table on the gold and silver sand on the Stone Knife.可是老人并没跟这一行人说话,只是站在桌子另一边,面对他女儿。他们两个都向前举起双臂,脸朝东。他们就用那种姿势唱起歌来。但愿我能够把这歌写下来,可是在场的没一个人记得住。事后露茜说,这支歌声调很高,近乎尖厉,不过很好听。“是一种冷调的歌,一种清展的歌”。他们唱歌时,东方天际的灰色云堆就散开了,一块块白云越来越大,最后成了一片雪白,海面呈现闪闪银光。过了好久(父女俩还一直唱着)东方才开始发红,最后,云散天晴,太阳跃出海面,长长的光束笔直照在桌上,照在金银餐具和石刀上。
Once or twice before, the Narnians had wondered whether the sun at its rising did not look bigger in these seas than it had looked at home. This time they we certain. There was no mistaking it. And the brightness its ray on the dew and on the table was far beyond an. morning brightness they had ever seen. And as Edmu said afterwards, "Though lots of things happened on that trip which sound more exciting, that moment was really the most exciting." For now they knew that they had truly come to the beginning of the End of the World.这几个纳尼亚人以前有一两回心里总想知道这一带海面上升起的太阳看上去是不是跟国内一样大。这回他们肯定了。一点没错。照在露水和桌上的阳光远比他们所曾见过的任何早晨的曙光更亮得多。正如事后爱德蒙所说的:“虽然那次旅程一路上碰到过不少听起来更激动人心的事,那一时刻倒的确是最最激动人心的。”因为现在他们知道他们确实到了世界尽头的起点。
Then something seemed to be flying at them out of the very centre of the rising sun: but of course one couldn't look steadily in that direction to make sure. But presently the air became full of voices - voices which took up same song that the Lady and her Father were singing, but in far wilder tones and in a language which no one knew And soon after that the owners of these voices could be seen. They were birds, large and white, and they came hundreds and thousands and alighted on everything; the grass, and the pavement, on the table, on your shoulders, your hands, and your head, till it looked as heavy snow had fallen. For, like snow, they not only make everything white but blurred and blunted all shapes. But Lucy, looking out from between the wings of the birds that covered her, saw one bird fly to the Old Man with something in its beak that looked like a little fruit, unless it was a little live coal, which it might have been, for it was too bright to look at. And the bird laid it in the Old Man's mouth.于是,那轮朝阳的中心似乎有什么东西向他们飞来:不过你眼睛当然没法一眨也不眨地看清楚。然而不久空中就都是声音——应和父女俩唱的那支歌的声音,只是声调古怪些,而且唱的语言没人懂。不一会儿就看得见这些歌声是谁的了。原来是鸟,又大又白,成千上万飞来,停在一切上面:草地上、石板地上、桌上、你的肩上、你的头上、你的手上,看上去真像下了场大雪。说是像雪,因为这些鸟不仅把一切都变成白的了,而且把一切东西的形状弄得模模糊糊,看不清楚。可是露茜从遮住她身子的鸟翼间看出去,只见其中一只鸟飞到老人身边,喙里含着什么东西,要不是一块燃烧着的火炭的话,看起来倒像个小果子,八成是火炭,因为亮得你没法正眼看着。那只鸟把这东西放在老人嘴里。
Then the birds stopped their singing and appeared to be very busy about the table. When they rose from it again everything on the table that could be eaten or drunk had disappeared. These birds rose from their meal in their thousands and hundreds and carried away all the things that could not be eaten or drunk, such as bones, rinds, and shells, and took their flight back to the rising sun. But now, because they were not singing, the whir of their wings seemed to set the whole air a-tremble. And there was the table pecked clean and empty, and the three old Lords of Narnia still fast asleep.随后那些鸟停止唱歌,在餐桌上显得非常忙碌的样子。但等它们从餐桌上再飞起来的时候,桌上凡是可以吃的、可以喝的都一扫而光了。这些鸟成千上万地吃完又飞走,还把一切吃不得喝不得的东西,比如骨头啊、皮啊、壳啊之类的,统统都带走,飞回朝阳那边。不过,现在因为它们不是在唱歌,所以千万对鸟翼似乎把整个空气都扑腾得直震颤。而桌面上却已被啄食一空,干干净净,三位纳尼亚老爵爷则依然沉睡不醒。4
Now at last the Old Man turned to the travellers and bade them welcome.此刻那老人才终于向这一行人转过身来,表示欢迎。
"Sir," said Caspian, "will you tell us how to undo the enchantment which holds these three Narnian Lords asleep."“阁下,”凯斯宾说,“请你告诉我们怎么破除使这三位纳尼亚爵爷沉睡的魔法吧。”
"I will gladly tell you that, my son," said the Old Man. "To break this enchantment you must sail to the World's End, or as near as you can come to it, and you must come back having left at least one of your company behind."“孩子啊,我很乐意告诉你这个法子,”老人说,“要破这个魔法,你们必须把船开到世界尽头,或者尽可能靠近那里,同时至少把你们的一个伙伴留在那里。”*
"And what must happen to that one?" asked Reepicheep.“留下的那一个怎么办呢?”雷佩契普问。
"He must go on into the utter east and never return into the world."“他必须继续深入极东地区,永不回到这个世界。”
"That is my heart's desire," said Reepicheep.这正是我衷心的愿望。”雷佩契普说。
"And are we near the World's End now, Sir?" asked Caspian. "Have you any knowledge of the seas and lands further east than this?"“阁下,我们现在靠近世界尽头了吗?”凯斯宾问,“你了解再往东去的海陆情况吗?”
"I saw them long ago," said the Old Man, "but it was from a great height. I cannot tell you such things as sailor need to know."“我好久以前看到过的,”老人说,“不过是从高空中看到的。水手们需要了解的情况我可无法奉告。”
"Do you mean you were flying in the air?" Eustace blurted out.“你意思是说你是在天上飞?”尤斯塔斯脱口而出道。
"I was a long way above the air, my son," replied the Old Man. "I am Ramandu. But I see that you stare at on another and have not heard this name. And no wonder, for the days when I was a star had ceased long before any of you knew this world, and all the constellations have changed."“小伙子,我是远在高空中,”老人答,“我是拉曼杜。不过我看你们大眼瞪小眼,没听说过这名字。这也难怪,因为早在你们任何人出世懂事的很久以前,我就不再是一颗星辰了,一切星座都改变了。”
"Golly," said Edmund under his breath. "He's a retired star."“天哪,”爱德蒙低声说,“他是颗退隐的星辰。”
"Aren't you a star any longer?" asked Lucy.“你不再是颗星辰了?”露茜问。
"I am a star at rest, my daughter," answered Ramandu“小姑娘,我是颗退休的星辰,”拉曼杜答,“上回我落下来时都衰老得没法想像了。我被送到这岛上来。现在我已经不像当时那样老了。每天早晨都有一只鸟从太阳的山谷里带给我一枚火果,每吃一枚火果都使我年轻一点。等我像新生儿那样年轻时,就重新升上天(因为我们是在东边地角),又可以遨游太空了。”
"When I set for the last time, decrepit and old beyond all that you can reckon, I was carried to this island. I am not so old now as I was then. Every morning a bird brings me a fire-berry from the valleys in the Sun, and each fire-berry takes away a little of my age. And when I have become as young as the child that was born yesterday, then I shall take my rising again (for we are at earth's eastern rim) and once more tread the great dance."“在我们的世界里,”尤斯塔斯说,“星是一大团火焰熊熊的气体。”
"In our world," said Eustace, "a star is a huge ball of flaming gas."“小伙子,即使在你们的世界里,那也不是星的真相,而是它的成分。在我们这个世界里,你们已经遇到一颗星辰了,因为你们大概碰见过科里亚金了吧。”
"Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of. And in this world you ave already met a star, for I think you have been with Coriakin."“他也是一颗退隐的星辰吗?”露茜说。
"Is he a retired star, too?" said Lucy.“说起来,情况并不完全相同,”拉曼杜说,“他被谪来管理笨蛋并不完全算退休。不妨称做惩罚。如果一切太平无事的话,他原可以在冬天的南方上空照耀千万年。”5
"Well, not quite the same," said Ramandu. "It was not quite as a rest than he was set to govern the Duffers. You might call it a punishment. He might have shone for thousands of years more in the southern winter sky if all had gone well."“他干了什么啊,阁下?”凯斯宾问。
"What did he do, Sir?" asked Caspian.“小伙子,”拉曼杜说,“作为亚当的儿子,你是不配知道星辰犯什么过错的。不过算了,我们谈这种事是浪费时间。你们现在拿定主意了吗?你们要不要继续往东开,把一个人留下不再回来,然后你们再回来破除这魔法?或者要往西开?”
"My son," said Ramandu, "it is not for you, a son of Adam, to know what faults a star can commit. But come, we waste time in such talk. Are you yet resolved? Will you sail further east and come again, leaving one to return no more, and so break the enchantment? Or will you sail westward?"“陛下,”雷佩契普说,“那点想必没问题吧?把这三位爵爷从魔法中解救出来分明是我们寻求的部分目标。”
"Surely, Sire," said Reepicheep, "there is no question about that? It is very plainly part of our quest to rescue these three lords from enchantment."“我也是这么想的,雷佩契普,”凯斯宾答,“哪怕不是这么着,如果黎明踏浪号可以带我们到世界尽头附近,而我们不去,我也会伤心的。不过我替水手们着想一下。他们订约是来寻找七位爵爷的,不是到天涯海角。如果我们从这里往东开,就要开去找天涯,极东地区。谁也不知道路程有多远。他们是勇敢的弟兄,不过我看得出有迹象表明有些人对航海厌倦了,一心盼望我们的船头重新掉向纳尼亚。我想,不通知他们,不征得他们同意,我是万万不能带他们再走远的。而且还有那个可怜的罗普爵爷。他是个万念皆灰的人。”
"I think the same, Reepicheep," replied Caspian. "And even if it were not so, it would break my heart not to go as near the World's End as the Dawn Treader will take us. But I am thinking of the crew. They signed on to seek the seven lords, not to reach the rim of the Earth. If we sail east from here we sail to find the edge, the utter east. And not one knows how far it is. They're brave fellows, but I set signs that some of them are weary of the voyage and long to have our prow pointing to Narnia again. I don't think should take them further without their knowledge an consent. And then there's the poor Lord Rhoop. He's broken man."“小伙子,”拉曼杜说,“带着不愿去的人或受骗上当的人开到世界尽头去是没有用的,尽管你许了愿也没用。这样破除魔法可万万不成。他们必须知道自己上哪儿去,为什么去。不过你说的那个万念皆灰的人是谁啊?”
"My son," said the star, "it would be no use, even though you wished it, to sail for the World's End with men unwilling or men deceived. That is not how great unenchantments are achieved. They must know where they go and why. But who is this broken man you speak of?"凯斯宾就把罗普爵爷的经历告诉了拉曼杜。
Caspian told Ramandu the story of Rhoop.“我可以把他最需要的给他,”拉曼杜说,“在这个岛上可以大睡特睡毫无限制,梦中一点点脚步声都听不到。就让他坐在这三位旁边,喝得忘却一切,等到你们回来吧。”
"I can give him what he needs most," said Ramandu. "I this island there is sleep without stint or measure, and sleep in which no faintest footfall of a dream was ever heard. Let him sit beside these other three and drink oblivion till you return."“啊呀,那就这样办吧,凯斯宾,”露茜说,“我敢说这正是他喜爱的。”
"Oh, do let's do that, Caspian," said Lucy. "I'm sure its just what he would love."正在这工夫,不少脚步声和说话声打断了他们的话,原来是德里宁和船上其他人员都来了。他们看见拉曼杜和他女儿不禁吃了一惊,停顿下来;后来他们看到这两个人显然不是凡人,纷纷脱帽致敬。有些水手看到桌上的空盘和空壶,眼睛里都充满遗憾的神情。
At that moment they were interrupted by the sound of many feet and voices: Drinian and the rest of the ship company were approaching. They halted in surprise whey they saw Ramandu and his daughter; and then, because these were obviously great people, every man uncovered his head. Some sailors eyed the empty dishes and flagons on the table with regret.“爵爷,”国王对德里宁说,“请派两个人回船去给罗普爵爷捎个口信,告诉他说他那几位同船老伙伴都在这里睡觉——没有梦的沉睡——他也可以来睡。”
"My lord," said the King to Drinian, "pray send two men back to the Dawn Treader with a message to the Lord Rhoop. Tell him that the last of his old shipmates are here asleep - a sleep without dreams - and that he can share it."凯斯宾办完这事,就吩咐其余的人坐下,把全部情况摊给大家。他说完以后,大家沉默了老半天,有几个在悄声说话,不久弓箭手头头起立说:
When this had been done, Caspian told the rest to sit down and laid the whole situation before them. When he had finished there was a long silence and some whispering until presently the Master Bowman got to his feet, and said:“陛下,我们有些人一直想问的就是,一旦我们掉转航向,不管是在这里掉转,还是在什么地方掉转,我们究竟怎么回家去。除了偶尔风平浪静之外,这一路上都是西风和西北风。假如风向不变,我真想知道我们有没有希望重见纳尼亚。我们一路划桨回去,给养也没多大把握维持得了。”
"What some of us have been wanting to ask for a long time, your Majesty, is how we're ever to get home when we do turn, whether we turn here or somewhere else. It's been west and north-west winds all the way, barring an occasional calm. And if that doesn't change, I'd like to know what hopes we have of seeing Narnia again. There's not much chance of supplies lasting while we row all that way.“真是陆地人的论调,”德里宁说,“这片海域整个夏末总是刮西风,总要过了新年才转风呢。我们今后要往西开的话,会遇上不少顺风的,根据各方面估计,多得我们受不了呢。”
"That's landsman's talk," said Drinian. "There's always a prevailing west wind in these seas all through the late summer, and it always changes after the New Year. We'll have plenty of wind for sailing westward; more than we shall like from all accounts."“说得一点不错,船长,”一个原是加尔马人的老水手说,“一二月里,东边的坏天气总是不断的。船长大人,恕我直言,要是让我指挥这条船的话,我就在这里过冬,到三月里开始起程回家。”
"That's true, Master," said an old sailor who was a Galmian by birth. "You get some ugly weather rolling up from the east in January and February. And by your leave, Sire, if I was in command of this ship I'd say to winter here and begin the voyage home in March."“你们在这里过冬的话,那你们吃什么呢?”尤斯塔斯问。
"What'd you eat while you were wintering here?" asked Eustace.“这张餐桌到了每天太阳下山时就会摆满国王的盛宴。”拉曼杜说。
"This table," said Ramandu, "will be filled with a king's feast every day at sunset."“这才像话!”几个水手说。
"Now you're talking!" said several sailors.“各位陛下,诸位先生,诸位女士,”赖尼夫说,“我只想说一件事。这次出海我们弟兄中没有一个是被逼着来的。我们都是自告奋勇来的。这里有几个人正一面拼命盯着那张餐桌,一面琢磨着国王的盛宴,当初我们从凯尔帕拉维尔启程那天,他们一面大声谈着什么冒险,一面发誓找不到世界尽头,他们就决不回家。还有些人站在码头上,情愿抛弃所有一切跟我们一起来。当初人们都情愿要黎明踏浪号一个船舱服务员的铺位,也不愿要骑士的腰带。我不知道你们是不是明白我说的意思。不过我想说的意思是,我认为像我们这样出发远航的弟兄要是回到家里,说我们到了世界尽头的起点,却没有勇气再走远,那我们看上去就跟那些笨蛋瓜一样蠢了。”
"Your Majesties and gentlemen and ladies all," said Rynelf, "there's just one thing I want to say. There's not one of us chaps as was pressed on this journey. We're volunteers. And there's some here chat are looking very hard at that table and thinking about king's feasts who were talking very loud about adventures on the day we sailed from Cair Paravel, and swearing they wouldn't come home till we'd found the end of the world. And there were some standing on the quay who would have given all they had to come with us. It was thought a finer thing then to have a cabin-boy's berth on the Dawn Treader than to wear a knight's belt. I don't know if you get the hang of what I'm saying. But what I mean is that I think chaps who set out like us will look as silly as - as those Dufflepuds - if we come home and say we got to the beginning of the world's end and hadn't the heart to go further."有几个水手为这番话叫好,同时也有几个说这话倒是不错。
Some of the sailors cheered at this but some said that that was all very well.“情况看来不大妙,”爱德蒙悄声对凯斯宾说,“如果那些家伙有一半退缩,那我们怎么办?”
"This isn't going to be much fun," whispered Edmund to Caspian. "What are we to do if half those fellows hang back?"“等一下,”凯斯宾悄声答,“我还有一张牌好打。”
"Wait," Caspian whispered back. "I've still a card to play."“你不打算说什么吗,雷普?”露茜悄声说。
"Aren't you going to say anything, Reep?" whispered Lucy.“不,陛下为什么偏要我说呢,”雷佩契普用大多数人都听得见的声音说,“我自己的计划已定。只要我办得到,我就随黎明踏浪号往东边去。这船不带我去,我就乘我的小筏子划到东边去。小筏子沉了,我就用四只爪子游到东边去。万一我游不动了,游不到阿斯兰的国土,或者万一在世界边缘给什么特大瀑布冲掉了,那我就是沉下水也要鼻子对着日出的地方,那时就让佩比西克当纳尼亚会说话的老鼠首领。”
"No. Why should your Majesty expect it?" answered Reepicheep in a voice that most people heard. "My owns plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia."“说得好,说得好,”一个水手说,“我也会说这番话的,只是小筏子那段话除外,因为我坐不下。”他又低声说了一句,“我不打算让一只老鼠比下去。”
"Hear, hear," said a sailor, "I'll say the same, barring the bit about the coracle, which wouldn't bear me." He added in a lower voice, "I'm not going to be outdone by a mouse."就在这关口,凯斯宾忽然站起来,“朋友们,”他说,“我想你们并不十分理解我们的用意。你们说话的口气好像我们是手里托着帽子来找你们,恳求你们做同船水手似的。根本不是这么回事。我们和我们的王兄王姐,还有他们的亲属,还有好骑士雷佩契普爵士以及德里宁爵爷都奉有到世界边缘的使命。我们很乐意在你们这些自愿参加的人当中,物色我们认为配从事如此崇高冒险事业的人选。我们并没有说任何人都能要求参加。所以我们现在指派德里宁船长和赖因斯大副慎重考虑一下,你们当中什么人在战斗中最顽强,什么人是最熟练的海员,什么人血统最纯正,什么人对我们最忠诚,什么人的身世和作风最清白;把这些开张名单给我们。”他顿了一下,又用较快的声音说,“阿斯兰在上!”他大声叫道,“你们以为亲眼看到最后大局的特权是白白到手的吗?当然,每一个跟随我们的人都将把黎明踏浪号的称号传给子孙后代,一旦我们返航踏上凯尔帕拉维尔,他将分得黄金或土地,足够使他终身享受富贵。现在,你们大家在岛上散开。半小时后我就要德里宁爵爷把名单交到我手里。”;
At this point Caspian jumped to his feet. "Friends," he said, "I think you have not quite understood our purpose. You talk as if we had come to you with our hat in our hand, begging for shipmates. It isn't like that at all. We and our royal brother and sister and their kinsman and Sir Reepicheep, the good knight, and the Lord Drinian have an errand to the world's edge. It is our pleasure to choose from among such of you as are willing those whom we deem worthy of so high an enterprise. We have not said that any can come for the asking. That is why we shall now command the Lord Drinian and Master Rhince to consider carefully what men among you are the hardest in battle, the most skilled seamen, the purest in blood, the most loyal to our person, and the cleanest of life and manners; and to give their names to us in a schedule." He paused and went on in a quicker voice, "Aslan's mane!" he exclaimed. "Do you think that the privilege of seeing the last things is to be bought for a song? Why, every man that comes with us shall bequeath the title of Dawn Treader to all his descendants, and when we land at Cair Paravel on the homeward voyage he shall have either gold or land enough to make him rich all his life. Now - scatter over the island, all of you. In half an hour's time I shall receive the names that Lord Drinian brings me."大家听了顿时乖乖默不作声,水手们鞠了躬就走开了,一个朝东,一个往西,不过多半人都三三两两的说着话。
There was rather a sheepish silence and then the crew made their bows and moved away, one in this direction and one in that, but mostly in little knots or bunches, talking.“现在要谈到罗普爵爷了。”凯斯宾说。
"And now for the Lord Rhoop," said Caspian.不料他刚朝餐桌首席转过身去,就看见罗普已经坐在那儿了。原来大家在讨论时,他已不声不响,默默无声地来到这里,就坐在阿尔戈兹爵爷身边。拉曼杜的女儿站在他旁边,好像她刚才扶他坐下似的;拉曼杜站在他后面,双手搁在他的白头发上。即使在白天,这个曾是星辰的老人双手还是发出朦胧的银光。罗普憔悴的脸上露出一丝笑容。他伸出一只手给露茜,一只手给凯斯宾。一时间似乎打算说点什么。接着他笑得更欢了,仿佛他体会到一阵美妙的兴奋感,唇边发出一声心满意足的长叹,脑袋往前一冲,就睡着了。
But turning to the head of the table he saw that Rhoop was already there. He had arrived, silent and unnoticed, while the discussion was going on, and was seated beside the Lord Argoz. The daughter of Ramandu stood beside him as if she had just helped him into his chair; Ramandu stood behind him and laid both his hands on Rhoop's grey head. Even in daylight a faint silver light came from the hands of the star. There was a smile on Rhoop's haggard face. He held out one of his hands to Lucy and the other to Caspian. For a moment it looked as if he were going to say something. Then his smile brightened as if he were feeling) some delicious sensation, a long sigh of contentment came from his lips, his head fell forward, and he slept.“可怜的罗普啊,”露茜说,“我真高兴。他一定有过好多可怕的经历。”
"Poor Rhoop," said Lucy. "I am glad. He must have had terrible times." '“我们还是别去想这事吧。”尤斯塔斯说。
"Don't let's even think of it," said Eustace.这时,凯斯宾那番话刚好起到他预期中的作用,也许是岛上什么魔法的帮助吧。有不少人刚才还迫不及待想脱离这次远航,现在对被淘汰的感受竟大不相同了。当然每逢哪个水手宣称他打定主意要求批准出海,那些还没说出口的水手就感到他们人数越来越少,心里滋味也越来越不好受。因此,半小时还不到,几个人就积极向德里宁和赖因斯大献殷勤(至少在我学校里人们是这么个说法),以便获得一个好评价。不久就只剩下三个人千方百计想说服人家跟他们一起留下。不一会儿就只剩下一个人。到末了,他对留下他一个人感到害怕起来,也改变了主意。
Meanwhile Caspian's speech, helped perhaps by some magic of the island, was having just the effect he intended. A good many who had been anxious enough to get out of the voyage felt quite differently about being left out of it. And of course whenever any one sailor announced that he had made up his mind to ask for permission to sail, the ones who hadn't said this felt that they were getting fewer and more uncomfortable. So that before the half-hour was nearly over several people were positively "sucking up" to Drinian and Rhince (at least that was what they called it at my school) to get a good report. And soon there were only three left who didn't want to go, and those three were trying very hard to persuade others to stay with them. And very shortly after that there was only one left. And in they end he began to be afraid of being left behind all on his own and changed his mind.半小时结束,大家全列队回到阿斯兰餐桌前,在一头肃立,德里宁和赖因斯就去跟凯斯宾坐在一起,作了汇报;凯斯宾照单全收,只有那个在最后时刻才改变主意的人没接受。他名叫皮顿克林,大家都出发寻找世界尽头的时候,他就一直待在星岛上,心里巴不得跟他们一起去。他不是那种喜欢跟拉曼杜父女谈天的人,人家也不喜欢跟他谈,而且下了不少场雨,虽然餐桌上夜夜都有美味佳肴,可是他不大爱吃。他说孤零零坐在那儿,陪着睡在餐桌那头的四位爵爷,而且晴雨无阻,真不由浑身发毛。当其他人回去时,他感到自己处处孤立,返航途中他就在孤独群岛开了小差,去住在卡乐门国,他在那里大讲自己在世界尽头的种种奇遇,到最后连自己也信以为真了。所以,在某种意义上来说,他从此日子过得倒也愉快。不过他见了老鼠就受不了。
At the end of the half-hour they all came trooping back to Aslan's Table and stood at one end while Drinian and Rhince went and sat down with Caspian and made their report; and Caspian accepted all the man but that one who'd had changed his mind at the last moment. His name was Pittencream and he stayed on the Island of the Star all the time the others were away looking for the World's End, and he very much wished he had gone with them. He wasn't the sort of man who could enjoy talking to Ramandu and Ramandu's daughter (nor they to him), and it rained a good deal, and though there was a wonderful feast on the Table every night, he didn't very much enjoy it. He said it gave him the creeps sitting there alone (and in the rain as likely as not) with those four Lords asleep at the end of the Table. And when the others returned he felt so out of things that he deserted on the voyage home at the Lone Islands, and went and lived in Calormen, where he told wonderful stories about his adventures at the End of the World, until at last he came to believe them himself. So you may say, in a sense, that he lived happily ever after. But he could never bear mice.那天晚上,他们全在柱子之间那张大餐桌上一起吃喝,桌上的盛宴已用魔法换上新鲜的了。第二天早晨,黎明踏浪号就在大鸟飞来又飞去那会儿再次扬帆启程。
That night they all ate and drank together at the great table between the pillars where the feast was magically renewed: and next morning the Dawn Treader set sail once more just when the great birds had come and gone again.“小姐,”凯斯宾说,“等我破了魔法后,希望再跟你谈谈。”拉曼杜的女儿瞧着他,微微一笑。
"Lady," said Caspian, "I hope to speak with you again when I have broken the enchantments." And Ramandu's daughter looked at him and smiled.

Slowly the door opened again and out there came a figure as tall and straight as the girl's but not so slender. It carried no light but light seemed to come from it. As it came nearer, Lucy saw that it was like an old man. His silver beard came down to his bare feet in front and his saver hair hung down to his heels behind and his robe appeared to be made from the fleece of silver sheep. He looked so mild and grave that once more all the travellers rose to their feet and stood in silence.
But the old man came on without speaking to the travellers and stood on the other side of the table opposite to his daughter. Then both of them held up their arms before them and turned to face the east. In that position the began to sing. I wish I could write down the song, but one who was present could remember it. Lucy said afterwards that it was high, almost shrill, but very beautiful, cold kind of song, an early morning kind of song. And they sang, the grey clouds lifted from the eastern sky a the white patches 'grew bigger and bigger till it was white, and the sea began to shine like silver. And long afterwards (but those two sang all the time) the east began to turn red and at last, unclouded, the sun came up out the sea and its long level ray shot down the length of the table on the gold and silver sand on the Stone Knife.
Once or twice before, the Narnians had wondered whether the sun at its rising did not look bigger in these seas than it had looked at home. This time they we certain. There was no mistaking it. And the brightness its ray on the dew and on the table was far beyond an. morning brightness they had ever seen. And as Edmu said afterwards, "Though lots of things happened on that trip which sound more exciting, that moment was really the most exciting." For now they knew that they had truly come to the beginning of the End of the World.
Then something seemed to be flying at them out of the very centre of the rising sun: but of course one couldn't look steadily in that direction to make sure. But presently the air became full of voices - voices which took up same song that the Lady and her Father were singing, but in far wilder tones and in a language which no one knew And soon after that the owners of these voices could be seen. They were birds, large and white, and they came hundreds and thousands and alighted on everything; the grass, and the pavement, on the table, on your shoulders, your hands, and your head, till it looked as heavy snow had fallen. For, like snow, they not only make everything white but blurred and blunted all shapes. But Lucy, looking out from between the wings of the birds that covered her, saw one bird fly to the Old Man with something in its beak that looked like a little fruit, unless it was a little live coal, which it might have been, for it was too bright to look at. And the bird laid it in the Old Man's mouth.
Then the birds stopped their singing and appeared to be very busy about the table. When they rose from it again everything on the table that could be eaten or drunk had disappeared. These birds rose from their meal in their thousands and hundreds and carried away all the things that could not be eaten or drunk, such as bones, rinds, and shells, and took their flight back to the rising sun. But now, because they were not singing, the whir of their wings seemed to set the whole air a-tremble. And there was the table pecked clean and empty, and the three old Lords of Narnia still fast asleep.
Now at last the Old Man turned to the travellers and bade them welcome.
"Sir," said Caspian, "will you tell us how to undo the enchantment which holds these three Narnian Lords asleep."
"I will gladly tell you that, my son," said the Old Man. "To break this enchantment you must sail to the World's End, or as near as you can come to it, and you must come back having left at least one of your company behind."
"And what must happen to that one?" asked Reepicheep.
"He must go on into the utter east and never return into the world."
"That is my heart's desire," said Reepicheep.
"And are we near the World's End now, Sir?" asked Caspian. "Have you any knowledge of the seas and lands further east than this?"
"I saw them long ago," said the Old Man, "but it was from a great height. I cannot tell you such things as sailor need to know."
"Do you mean you were flying in the air?" Eustace blurted out.
"I was a long way above the air, my son," replied the Old Man. "I am Ramandu. But I see that you stare at on another and have not heard this name. And no wonder, for the days when I was a star had ceased long before any of you knew this world, and all the constellations have changed."
"Golly," said Edmund under his breath. "He's a retired star."
"Aren't you a star any longer?" asked Lucy.
"I am a star at rest, my daughter," answered Ramandu
"When I set for the last time, decrepit and old beyond all that you can reckon, I was carried to this island. I am not so old now as I was then. Every morning a bird brings me a fire-berry from the valleys in the Sun, and each fire-berry takes away a little of my age. And when I have become as young as the child that was born yesterday, then I shall take my rising again (for we are at earth's eastern rim) and once more tread the great dance."
"In our world," said Eustace, "a star is a huge ball of flaming gas."
"Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of. And in this world you ave already met a star, for I think you have been with Coriakin."
"Is he a retired star, too?" said Lucy.
"Well, not quite the same," said Ramandu. "It was not quite as a rest than he was set to govern the Duffers. You might call it a punishment. He might have shone for thousands of years more in the southern winter sky if all had gone well."
"What did he do, Sir?" asked Caspian.
"My son," said Ramandu, "it is not for you, a son of Adam, to know what faults a star can commit. But come, we waste time in such talk. Are you yet resolved? Will you sail further east and come again, leaving one to return no more, and so break the enchantment? Or will you sail westward?"
"Surely, Sire," said Reepicheep, "there is no question about that? It is very plainly part of our quest to rescue these three lords from enchantment."
"I think the same, Reepicheep," replied Caspian. "And even if it were not so, it would break my heart not to go as near the World's End as the Dawn Treader will take us. But I am thinking of the crew. They signed on to seek the seven lords, not to reach the rim of the Earth. If we sail east from here we sail to find the edge, the utter east. And not one knows how far it is. They're brave fellows, but I set signs that some of them are weary of the voyage and long to have our prow pointing to Narnia again. I don't think should take them further without their knowledge an consent. And then there's the poor Lord Rhoop. He's broken man."
"My son," said the star, "it would be no use, even though you wished it, to sail for the World's End with men unwilling or men deceived. That is not how great unenchantments are achieved. They must know where they go and why. But who is this broken man you speak of?"
Caspian told Ramandu the story of Rhoop.
"I can give him what he needs most," said Ramandu. "I this island there is sleep without stint or measure, and sleep in which no faintest footfall of a dream was ever heard. Let him sit beside these other three and drink oblivion till you return."
"Oh, do let's do that, Caspian," said Lucy. "I'm sure its just what he would love."
At that moment they were interrupted by the sound of many feet and voices: Drinian and the rest of the ship company were approaching. They halted in surprise whey they saw Ramandu and his daughter; and then, because these were obviously great people, every man uncovered his head. Some sailors eyed the empty dishes and flagons on the table with regret.
"My lord," said the King to Drinian, "pray send two men back to the Dawn Treader with a message to the Lord Rhoop. Tell him that the last of his old shipmates are here asleep - a sleep without dreams - and that he can share it."
When this had been done, Caspian told the rest to sit down and laid the whole situation before them. When he had finished there was a long silence and some whispering until presently the Master Bowman got to his feet, and said:
"What some of us have been wanting to ask for a long time, your Majesty, is how we're ever to get home when we do turn, whether we turn here or somewhere else. It's been west and north-west winds all the way, barring an occasional calm. And if that doesn't change, I'd like to know what hopes we have of seeing Narnia again. There's not much chance of supplies lasting while we row all that way.
"That's landsman's talk," said Drinian. "There's always a prevailing west wind in these seas all through the late summer, and it always changes after the New Year. We'll have plenty of wind for sailing westward; more than we shall like from all accounts."
"That's true, Master," said an old sailor who was a Galmian by birth. "You get some ugly weather rolling up from the east in January and February. And by your leave, Sire, if I was in command of this ship I'd say to winter here and begin the voyage home in March."
"What'd you eat while you were wintering here?" asked Eustace.
"This table," said Ramandu, "will be filled with a king's feast every day at sunset."
"Now you're talking!" said several sailors.
"Your Majesties and gentlemen and ladies all," said Rynelf, "there's just one thing I want to say. There's not one of us chaps as was pressed on this journey. We're volunteers. And there's some here chat are looking very hard at that table and thinking about king's feasts who were talking very loud about adventures on the day we sailed from Cair Paravel, and swearing they wouldn't come home till we'd found the end of the world. And there were some standing on the quay who would have given all they had to come with us. It was thought a finer thing then to have a cabin-boy's berth on the Dawn Treader than to wear a knight's belt. I don't know if you get the hang of what I'm saying. But what I mean is that I think chaps who set out like us will look as silly as - as those Dufflepuds - if we come home and say we got to the beginning of the world's end and hadn't the heart to go further."
Some of the sailors cheered at this but some said that that was all very well.
"This isn't going to be much fun," whispered Edmund to Caspian. "What are we to do if half those fellows hang back?"
"Wait," Caspian whispered back. "I've still a card to play."
"Aren't you going to say anything, Reep?" whispered Lucy.
"No. Why should your Majesty expect it?" answered Reepicheep in a voice that most people heard. "My owns plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia."
"Hear, hear," said a sailor, "I'll say the same, barring the bit about the coracle, which wouldn't bear me." He added in a lower voice, "I'm not going to be outdone by a mouse."
At this point Caspian jumped to his feet. "Friends," he said, "I think you have not quite understood our purpose. You talk as if we had come to you with our hat in our hand, begging for shipmates. It isn't like that at all. We and our royal brother and sister and their kinsman and Sir Reepicheep, the good knight, and the Lord Drinian have an errand to the world's edge. It is our pleasure to choose from among such of you as are willing those whom we deem worthy of so high an enterprise. We have not said that any can come for the asking. That is why we shall now command the Lord Drinian and Master Rhince to consider carefully what men among you are the hardest in battle, the most skilled seamen, the purest in blood, the most loyal to our person, and the cleanest of life and manners; and to give their names to us in a schedule." He paused and went on in a quicker voice, "Aslan's mane!" he exclaimed. "Do you think that the privilege of seeing the last things is to be bought for a song? Why, every man that comes with us shall bequeath the title of Dawn Treader to all his descendants, and when we land at Cair Paravel on the homeward voyage he shall have either gold or land enough to make him rich all his life. Now - scatter over the island, all of you. In half an hour's time I shall receive the names that Lord Drinian brings me."
There was rather a sheepish silence and then the crew made their bows and moved away, one in this direction and one in that, but mostly in little knots or bunches, talking.
"And now for the Lord Rhoop," said Caspian.
But turning to the head of the table he saw that Rhoop was already there. He had arrived, silent and unnoticed, while the discussion was going on, and was seated beside the Lord Argoz. The daughter of Ramandu stood beside him as if she had just helped him into his chair; Ramandu stood behind him and laid both his hands on Rhoop's grey head. Even in daylight a faint silver light came from the hands of the star. There was a smile on Rhoop's haggard face. He held out one of his hands to Lucy and the other to Caspian. For a moment it looked as if he were going to say something. Then his smile brightened as if he were feeling) some delicious sensation, a long sigh of contentment came from his lips, his head fell forward, and he slept.
"Poor Rhoop," said Lucy. "I am glad. He must have had terrible times." '
"Don't let's even think of it," said Eustace.
Meanwhile Caspian's speech, helped perhaps by some magic of the island, was having just the effect he intended. A good many who had been anxious enough to get out of the voyage felt quite differently about being left out of it. And of course whenever any one sailor announced that he had made up his mind to ask for permission to sail, the ones who hadn't said this felt that they were getting fewer and more uncomfortable. So that before the half-hour was nearly over several people were positively "sucking up" to Drinian and Rhince (at least that was what they called it at my school) to get a good report. And soon there were only three left who didn't want to go, and those three were trying very hard to persuade others to stay with them. And very shortly after that there was only one left. And in they end he began to be afraid of being left behind all on his own and changed his mind.
At the end of the half-hour they all came trooping back to Aslan's Table and stood at one end while Drinian and Rhince went and sat down with Caspian and made their report; and Caspian accepted all the man but that one who'd had changed his mind at the last moment. His name was Pittencream and he stayed on the Island of the Star all the time the others were away looking for the World's End, and he very much wished he had gone with them. He wasn't the sort of man who could enjoy talking to Ramandu and Ramandu's daughter (nor they to him), and it rained a good deal, and though there was a wonderful feast on the Table every night, he didn't very much enjoy it. He said it gave him the creeps sitting there alone (and in the rain as likely as not) with those four Lords asleep at the end of the Table. And when the others returned he felt so out of things that he deserted on the voyage home at the Lone Islands, and went and lived in Calormen, where he told wonderful stories about his adventures at the End of the World, until at last he came to believe them himself. So you may say, in a sense, that he lived happily ever after. But he could never bear mice.
That night they all ate and drank together at the great table between the pillars where the feast was magically renewed: and next morning the Dawn Treader set sail once more just when the great birds had come and gone again.
"Lady," said Caspian, "I hope to speak with you again when I have broken the enchantments." And Ramandu's daughter looked at him and smiled.

那扇门慢慢又打开了,走出一个人,跟那个姑娘一样又高又挺,不过没那么细长。也没带着灯火,不过仿佛全身都发着光。但等此人走近,露茜才看出像是个老人。他的银须飘垂到身前的光脚上,银发则飘垂到背后的脚跟,一袭银袍看上去像是银羊毛纺制的。他神情非常慈祥庄严,这一行人不由再次默默起立。
可是老人并没跟这一行人说话,只是站在桌子另一边,面对他女儿。他们两个都向前举起双臂,脸朝东。他们就用那种姿势唱起歌来。但愿我能够把这歌写下来,可是在场的没一个人记得住。事后露茜说,这支歌声调很高,近乎尖厉,不过很好听。“是一种冷调的歌,一种清展的歌”。他们唱歌时,东方天际的灰色云堆就散开了,一块块白云越来越大,最后成了一片雪白,海面呈现闪闪银光。过了好久(父女俩还一直唱着)东方才开始发红,最后,云散天晴,太阳跃出海面,长长的光束笔直照在桌上,照在金银餐具和石刀上。
这几个纳尼亚人以前有一两回心里总想知道这一带海面上升起的太阳看上去是不是跟国内一样大。这回他们肯定了。一点没错。照在露水和桌上的阳光远比他们所曾见过的任何早晨的曙光更亮得多。正如事后爱德蒙所说的:“虽然那次旅程一路上碰到过不少听起来更激动人心的事,那一时刻倒的确是最最激动人心的。”因为现在他们知道他们确实到了世界尽头的起点。
于是,那轮朝阳的中心似乎有什么东西向他们飞来:不过你眼睛当然没法一眨也不眨地看清楚。然而不久空中就都是声音——应和父女俩唱的那支歌的声音,只是声调古怪些,而且唱的语言没人懂。不一会儿就看得见这些歌声是谁的了。原来是鸟,又大又白,成千上万飞来,停在一切上面:草地上、石板地上、桌上、你的肩上、你的头上、你的手上,看上去真像下了场大雪。说是像雪,因为这些鸟不仅把一切都变成白的了,而且把一切东西的形状弄得模模糊糊,看不清楚。可是露茜从遮住她身子的鸟翼间看出去,只见其中一只鸟飞到老人身边,喙里含着什么东西,要不是一块燃烧着的火炭的话,看起来倒像个小果子,八成是火炭,因为亮得你没法正眼看着。那只鸟把这东西放在老人嘴里。
随后那些鸟停止唱歌,在餐桌上显得非常忙碌的样子。但等它们从餐桌上再飞起来的时候,桌上凡是可以吃的、可以喝的都一扫而光了。这些鸟成千上万地吃完又飞走,还把一切吃不得喝不得的东西,比如骨头啊、皮啊、壳啊之类的,统统都带走,飞回朝阳那边。不过,现在因为它们不是在唱歌,所以千万对鸟翼似乎把整个空气都扑腾得直震颤。而桌面上却已被啄食一空,干干净净,三位纳尼亚老爵爷则依然沉睡不醒。4
此刻那老人才终于向这一行人转过身来,表示欢迎。
“阁下,”凯斯宾说,“请你告诉我们怎么破除使这三位纳尼亚爵爷沉睡的魔法吧。”
“孩子啊,我很乐意告诉你这个法子,”老人说,“要破这个魔法,你们必须把船开到世界尽头,或者尽可能靠近那里,同时至少把你们的一个伙伴留在那里。”*
“留下的那一个怎么办呢?”雷佩契普问。
“他必须继续深入极东地区,永不回到这个世界。”
这正是我衷心的愿望。”雷佩契普说。
“阁下,我们现在靠近世界尽头了吗?”凯斯宾问,“你了解再往东去的海陆情况吗?”
“我好久以前看到过的,”老人说,“不过是从高空中看到的。水手们需要了解的情况我可无法奉告。”
“你意思是说你是在天上飞?”尤斯塔斯脱口而出道。
“小伙子,我是远在高空中,”老人答,“我是拉曼杜。不过我看你们大眼瞪小眼,没听说过这名字。这也难怪,因为早在你们任何人出世懂事的很久以前,我就不再是一颗星辰了,一切星座都改变了。”
“天哪,”爱德蒙低声说,“他是颗退隐的星辰。”
“你不再是颗星辰了?”露茜问。
“小姑娘,我是颗退休的星辰,”拉曼杜答,“上回我落下来时都衰老得没法想像了。我被送到这岛上来。现在我已经不像当时那样老了。每天早晨都有一只鸟从太阳的山谷里带给我一枚火果,每吃一枚火果都使我年轻一点。等我像新生儿那样年轻时,就重新升上天(因为我们是在东边地角),又可以遨游太空了。”
“在我们的世界里,”尤斯塔斯说,“星是一大团火焰熊熊的气体。”
“小伙子,即使在你们的世界里,那也不是星的真相,而是它的成分。在我们这个世界里,你们已经遇到一颗星辰了,因为你们大概碰见过科里亚金了吧。”
“他也是一颗退隐的星辰吗?”露茜说。
“说起来,情况并不完全相同,”拉曼杜说,“他被谪来管理笨蛋并不完全算退休。不妨称做惩罚。如果一切太平无事的话,他原可以在冬天的南方上空照耀千万年。”5
“他干了什么啊,阁下?”凯斯宾问。
“小伙子,”拉曼杜说,“作为亚当的儿子,你是不配知道星辰犯什么过错的。不过算了,我们谈这种事是浪费时间。你们现在拿定主意了吗?你们要不要继续往东开,把一个人留下不再回来,然后你们再回来破除这魔法?或者要往西开?”
“陛下,”雷佩契普说,“那点想必没问题吧?把这三位爵爷从魔法中解救出来分明是我们寻求的部分目标。”
“我也是这么想的,雷佩契普,”凯斯宾答,“哪怕不是这么着,如果黎明踏浪号可以带我们到世界尽头附近,而我们不去,我也会伤心的。不过我替水手们着想一下。他们订约是来寻找七位爵爷的,不是到天涯海角。如果我们从这里往东开,就要开去找天涯,极东地区。谁也不知道路程有多远。他们是勇敢的弟兄,不过我看得出有迹象表明有些人对航海厌倦了,一心盼望我们的船头重新掉向纳尼亚。我想,不通知他们,不征得他们同意,我是万万不能带他们再走远的。而且还有那个可怜的罗普爵爷。他是个万念皆灰的人。”
“小伙子,”拉曼杜说,“带着不愿去的人或受骗上当的人开到世界尽头去是没有用的,尽管你许了愿也没用。这样破除魔法可万万不成。他们必须知道自己上哪儿去,为什么去。不过你说的那个万念皆灰的人是谁啊?”
凯斯宾就把罗普爵爷的经历告诉了拉曼杜。
“我可以把他最需要的给他,”拉曼杜说,“在这个岛上可以大睡特睡毫无限制,梦中一点点脚步声都听不到。就让他坐在这三位旁边,喝得忘却一切,等到你们回来吧。”
“啊呀,那就这样办吧,凯斯宾,”露茜说,“我敢说这正是他喜爱的。”
正在这工夫,不少脚步声和说话声打断了他们的话,原来是德里宁和船上其他人员都来了。他们看见拉曼杜和他女儿不禁吃了一惊,停顿下来;后来他们看到这两个人显然不是凡人,纷纷脱帽致敬。有些水手看到桌上的空盘和空壶,眼睛里都充满遗憾的神情。
“爵爷,”国王对德里宁说,“请派两个人回船去给罗普爵爷捎个口信,告诉他说他那几位同船老伙伴都在这里睡觉——没有梦的沉睡——他也可以来睡。”
凯斯宾办完这事,就吩咐其余的人坐下,把全部情况摊给大家。他说完以后,大家沉默了老半天,有几个在悄声说话,不久弓箭手头头起立说:
“陛下,我们有些人一直想问的就是,一旦我们掉转航向,不管是在这里掉转,还是在什么地方掉转,我们究竟怎么回家去。除了偶尔风平浪静之外,这一路上都是西风和西北风。假如风向不变,我真想知道我们有没有希望重见纳尼亚。我们一路划桨回去,给养也没多大把握维持得了。”
“真是陆地人的论调,”德里宁说,“这片海域整个夏末总是刮西风,总要过了新年才转风呢。我们今后要往西开的话,会遇上不少顺风的,根据各方面估计,多得我们受不了呢。”
“说得一点不错,船长,”一个原是加尔马人的老水手说,“一二月里,东边的坏天气总是不断的。船长大人,恕我直言,要是让我指挥这条船的话,我就在这里过冬,到三月里开始起程回家。”
“你们在这里过冬的话,那你们吃什么呢?”尤斯塔斯问。
“这张餐桌到了每天太阳下山时就会摆满国王的盛宴。”拉曼杜说。
“这才像话!”几个水手说。
“各位陛下,诸位先生,诸位女士,”赖尼夫说,“我只想说一件事。这次出海我们弟兄中没有一个是被逼着来的。我们都是自告奋勇来的。这里有几个人正一面拼命盯着那张餐桌,一面琢磨着国王的盛宴,当初我们从凯尔帕拉维尔启程那天,他们一面大声谈着什么冒险,一面发誓找不到世界尽头,他们就决不回家。还有些人站在码头上,情愿抛弃所有一切跟我们一起来。当初人们都情愿要黎明踏浪号一个船舱服务员的铺位,也不愿要骑士的腰带。我不知道你们是不是明白我说的意思。不过我想说的意思是,我认为像我们这样出发远航的弟兄要是回到家里,说我们到了世界尽头的起点,却没有勇气再走远,那我们看上去就跟那些笨蛋瓜一样蠢了。”
有几个水手为这番话叫好,同时也有几个说这话倒是不错。
“情况看来不大妙,”爱德蒙悄声对凯斯宾说,“如果那些家伙有一半退缩,那我们怎么办?”
“等一下,”凯斯宾悄声答,“我还有一张牌好打。”
“你不打算说什么吗,雷普?”露茜悄声说。
“不,陛下为什么偏要我说呢,”雷佩契普用大多数人都听得见的声音说,“我自己的计划已定。只要我办得到,我就随黎明踏浪号往东边去。这船不带我去,我就乘我的小筏子划到东边去。小筏子沉了,我就用四只爪子游到东边去。万一我游不动了,游不到阿斯兰的国土,或者万一在世界边缘给什么特大瀑布冲掉了,那我就是沉下水也要鼻子对着日出的地方,那时就让佩比西克当纳尼亚会说话的老鼠首领。”
“说得好,说得好,”一个水手说,“我也会说这番话的,只是小筏子那段话除外,因为我坐不下。”他又低声说了一句,“我不打算让一只老鼠比下去。”
就在这关口,凯斯宾忽然站起来,“朋友们,”他说,“我想你们并不十分理解我们的用意。你们说话的口气好像我们是手里托着帽子来找你们,恳求你们做同船水手似的。根本不是这么回事。我们和我们的王兄王姐,还有他们的亲属,还有好骑士雷佩契普爵士以及德里宁爵爷都奉有到世界边缘的使命。我们很乐意在你们这些自愿参加的人当中,物色我们认为配从事如此崇高冒险事业的人选。我们并没有说任何人都能要求参加。所以我们现在指派德里宁船长和赖因斯大副慎重考虑一下,你们当中什么人在战斗中最顽强,什么人是最熟练的海员,什么人血统最纯正,什么人对我们最忠诚,什么人的身世和作风最清白;把这些开张名单给我们。”他顿了一下,又用较快的声音说,“阿斯兰在上!”他大声叫道,“你们以为亲眼看到最后大局的特权是白白到手的吗?当然,每一个跟随我们的人都将把黎明踏浪号的称号传给子孙后代,一旦我们返航踏上凯尔帕拉维尔,他将分得黄金或土地,足够使他终身享受富贵。现在,你们大家在岛上散开。半小时后我就要德里宁爵爷把名单交到我手里。”;
大家听了顿时乖乖默不作声,水手们鞠了躬就走开了,一个朝东,一个往西,不过多半人都三三两两的说着话。
“现在要谈到罗普爵爷了。”凯斯宾说。
不料他刚朝餐桌首席转过身去,就看见罗普已经坐在那儿了。原来大家在讨论时,他已不声不响,默默无声地来到这里,就坐在阿尔戈兹爵爷身边。拉曼杜的女儿站在他旁边,好像她刚才扶他坐下似的;拉曼杜站在他后面,双手搁在他的白头发上。即使在白天,这个曾是星辰的老人双手还是发出朦胧的银光。罗普憔悴的脸上露出一丝笑容。他伸出一只手给露茜,一只手给凯斯宾。一时间似乎打算说点什么。接着他笑得更欢了,仿佛他体会到一阵美妙的兴奋感,唇边发出一声心满意足的长叹,脑袋往前一冲,就睡着了。
“可怜的罗普啊,”露茜说,“我真高兴。他一定有过好多可怕的经历。”
“我们还是别去想这事吧。”尤斯塔斯说。
这时,凯斯宾那番话刚好起到他预期中的作用,也许是岛上什么魔法的帮助吧。有不少人刚才还迫不及待想脱离这次远航,现在对被淘汰的感受竟大不相同了。当然每逢哪个水手宣称他打定主意要求批准出海,那些还没说出口的水手就感到他们人数越来越少,心里滋味也越来越不好受。因此,半小时还不到,几个人就积极向德里宁和赖因斯大献殷勤(至少在我学校里人们是这么个说法),以便获得一个好评价。不久就只剩下三个人千方百计想说服人家跟他们一起留下。不一会儿就只剩下一个人。到末了,他对留下他一个人感到害怕起来,也改变了主意。
半小时结束,大家全列队回到阿斯兰餐桌前,在一头肃立,德里宁和赖因斯就去跟凯斯宾坐在一起,作了汇报;凯斯宾照单全收,只有那个在最后时刻才改变主意的人没接受。他名叫皮顿克林,大家都出发寻找世界尽头的时候,他就一直待在星岛上,心里巴不得跟他们一起去。他不是那种喜欢跟拉曼杜父女谈天的人,人家也不喜欢跟他谈,而且下了不少场雨,虽然餐桌上夜夜都有美味佳肴,可是他不大爱吃。他说孤零零坐在那儿,陪着睡在餐桌那头的四位爵爷,而且晴雨无阻,真不由浑身发毛。当其他人回去时,他感到自己处处孤立,返航途中他就在孤独群岛开了小差,去住在卡乐门国,他在那里大讲自己在世界尽头的种种奇遇,到最后连自己也信以为真了。所以,在某种意义上来说,他从此日子过得倒也愉快。不过他见了老鼠就受不了。
那天晚上,他们全在柱子之间那张大餐桌上一起吃喝,桌上的盛宴已用魔法换上新鲜的了。第二天早晨,黎明踏浪号就在大鸟飞来又飞去那会儿再次扬帆启程。
“小姐,”凯斯宾说,“等我破了魔法后,希望再跟你谈谈。”拉曼杜的女儿瞧着他,微微一笑。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
contentment [kən'tentmənt]

想一想再看

n. 满足,使人满足的事

 
privilege ['privilidʒ]

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n. 特权,特别恩典,基本人权,荣幸
vt.

联想记忆
lasting ['læstiŋ]

想一想再看

adj. 永久的,永恒的
动词last的现在分

联想记忆
stint [stint]

想一想再看

v. 节省,限制,停止 n. 节约,限制,定额的工作 n

联想记忆
oblivion [ə'bliviən]

想一想再看

n. 遗忘,忘却

联想记忆
enterprise ['entəpraiz]

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n. 企业,事业,谋划,进取心

联想记忆
grave [greiv]

想一想再看

n. 坟墓,墓穴
adj. 严肃的,严重的,庄

 
sensation [sen'seiʃən]

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n. 感觉,感知力,激动,轰动

联想记忆
bequeath [bi'kwi:ð]

想一想再看

vt. 遗赠,遗留

联想记忆
silence ['sailəns]

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n. 沉默,寂静
vt. 使安静,使沉默

 
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